I believe it’s time for the ‘clap for carers’ to stop. This is not because I’m ‘unpatriotic’ or don’t recognise the incredible work carried out by our NHS, I love both dearly. Like huge numbers of people across the UK I’ve been moved by the show of affection for our brilliant NHS and carers.
However, I’ve become increasingly uneasy about the fundamental issues, such as the lack of PPE and underfunding, that have led our NHS and care workers to be classed as heroes and how our weekly clap may seem to absolve us from taking action. While NHS staff appreciate the recognition, rather than be treated as heroes risking their lives, I’m sure they would prefer to work in a safe environment, with adequate PPE and be adequately rewarded for their vital role in society.
For far too long we have taken advantage of their sense of duty and this must change. One of the most striking lessons we have learned from the pandemic is how vital our low paid public workers are to our communities. As far as one person can make a difference (and Captain Tom has shown us what can be done) I’ll push for better conditions for our public service workers, an adequately funded NHS – and recognition for migrants who contribute so much to the UK.